Talk show host Glenn Beck has called Japan’s latest deadly earthquake a message from God.
His remarks come after a tsunami caused by a magnitude-8.9 earthquake hit the Japanese coastline last Friday, claiming an estimated 10,000 lives. Since the quake occured, several nuclear power plants risk meltdown after receiving damage.
"I'm not saying God is, you know, causing earthquakes – well I'm not not saying that either!" Beck said on television Monday.
"What God does is God's business, I have no idea. But I'll tell you this – whether you call it Gaia or whether you call it Jesus, there's a message being sent.”
The controversial political commentator later suggested the Ten Commandments as a solution to current global woes.
Despite having an open Mormon faith, Beck has made friendly gestures to U.S. Christians in the past years that included a private visit with evangelist Billy Graham in late February.
Not all major Christian groups find Beck to be appealing, however.
In a televised broadcast last March, Beck angered anti-poverty Christians by asking believers to leave churches propagating social justice. He later linked social justice with communism and Nazism.
The Rev. Jim Wallis, CEO of the social justice ministry Sojourners, subsequently called for a boycott of Beck’s radio and television shows.
Last Friday, the online community Faith America – which claims over 100,000 in membership – asked two radio stations belonging to faith-based Salem Communications to “give up Glenn Beck for Lent.”
Beck is not the first personality caught making remarks that have offended the sensitivity of television viewers worldwide in the aftermath of the disaster.
In Japan, Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara was criticized for telling reporters on Monday that the tsunami was needed “to wipe out egoism, which has rusted onto the mentality of Japanese over a long period of time.”
“I think [the disaster] is tembatsu [divine punishment], although I feel sorry for disaster victims,” he said.
Shintaro later rescinded his comments and apologized in a press conference on Tuesday.